Alex Leslie Launches ‘The things I heard about you’ in Vancouver!

Congratulations to Alex Leslie, who’s releasing a first book of poems, The things I heard about you, with Nightwood Editions this fall! Join Alex for a book launch celebration in Vancouver on Thursday, October 9 at Pulp Fiction (2422 Main Street). Also reading at the event are Vancouver-based authors Rita Wong and lee williams boudakian. Doors open at 7pm, admission is free and all are welcome.

Shortlisted for the 2014 Robert Kroetsch award for innovative poetry, The things I heard about you is a collection of prose poems that explore precision and the unspoken, executing a process whereby vignettes and landscapes break apart into fragments, rumours or suggestions of the original story. Intense, vivid scenes that encompass large, intangible ideas such as loss and grief are decomposed—stripped to the barest detail. Ultimately, the book is an evocative, beautifully crafted collection of tidal memories and elegies, love songs to the coast and all its inhabitants.

Alex Leslie has published a collection of stories, People Who Disappear (Freehand, 2012), which was shortlisted for a 2013 Lambda Award and a 2013 Relit Award; as well as a chapbook of microfictions, 20 Objects for the New World (Freehand, 2011). Alex’s writing has won a Gold National Magazine Award for personal journalism and a CBC Literary Award for fiction. Recent projects include editing the Queer issue of Poetry Is Dead magazine, which brought together different approaches to Queer poetics from across Canada. Alex lives in Vancouver, BC. Website:

Rita Wong lives on the unceded Coast Salish territories otherwise known as Vancouver, BC, where her work investigates the relationships between the poetics of water, social justice, ecology, and decolonization. She is the author of three books of poetry: sybil unrest (co-written with Larissa Lai, Line Books, 2008), forage (Nightwood 2007, awarded the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize and Canada Reads Poetry 2011), and monkeypuzzle (Press Gang 1998). Her poems have appeared widely in anthologies such as the Winter We Danced: Voices From the Past, the Future, and the Idle No More Movement; The Enpipe Line; Regreen: New Canadian Ecological Poetry, and more. Her forthcoming book of poems is entitled undercurrent.

lee williams boudakian is a queer gender diverse mixie currently based in Vancouver, unceded Coast Salish territories. They are cultivating a practice that includes interdisciplinary art-making, writing, performing, community organizing and facilitating arts-based workshops. Their work explores intersectional identities and social justice – seeking to share un(der)represented stories of survival and make visible systemic oppressions that impact daily life, relationships, and bodies. lee is currently working on their second play entitled Dear Armen, an interactive-theatre experience integrating a blend of traditional Armenian dance, erotic performance, monologue and live music. The show will tour Vancouver, San Francisco, Oakland, & LA in the fall of 2014. For more info visit:

Doretta Lau shortlisted for the City of Vancouver Book Award

The finalists for the 2013 City of Vancouver Book Award have been announced, and How Does an Single Blade of Grass Thank the Sun?, by Nightwood Editions author Doretta Lau, has been nominated.

How Does a Single Blade of Grass Thank the Sun? is a compelling collection of short stories that present an updated and whimsical new take on what it means to be Canadian. Lau alludes to the personal and political histories of a number of young Asian Canadian characters to explain their unique perspectives of the world, artfully fusing pure delusion and abstract perception with heartbreaking reality. The book’s title refers to an interview with Chinese basketball star Yao Ming, who, when asked about the Shanghai Sharks, the team that shaped his formative sporting years, responded, “How does a single blade of grass thank the sun?” Lau’s stories feature the children and grandchildren of immigrants, transnational adoptees and multiracial adults who came of age in the 1990s—all struggling to find a place in the Western world and using the only language they know to express their hopes, fears and expectations.

The City of Vancouver Book Award is given to a book that reflects the city’s rich history and culture. The 26th annual City of Vancouver Book Award will be presented at the Mayor’s Arts Awards ceremony at the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre on October 7, 2014. The other shortlisted authors include: Bruce Grierson for What makes Olga Run? (Random House), Ashley Little for Anatomy of a Girl Gang (Arsenal Pulp Press), Billeh Nickerson for Artificial Cherry (Arsenal Pulp Press) and David Stouk for Arthur Erickson: An Architect’s Life (Douglas & McIntyre). The five shortlisted titles were chosen by an independent jury that included: Elee Kraljii Gardener, an award-winning poet and director of the Thursdays Writing Collective; Anna Ling Kaye, editor of Ricepaper magazine; and Jordan Abel, editor for Poetry Is Dead magazine and the former poetry editor for PRISM international. Alma Lee, founder and former artistic director of the Vancouver International Writers and Readers Festival, served as chair.

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Nightwood authors at Word Vancouver this year

Word Vancouver is coming to soon! The festival runs from Wednesday, September 24 to Sunday, September 28. Don’t miss the opportunity to see events, readings, and discussion from the vast array of authors and publishers in attendance. Let’s hope the weather holds out! If not, you can always find cover on the poetry bus.

Below are the reading times for some Nightwood Editions authors:


Sunday, September 28

Poetry On The Bus

11:00 am The World Poetry Reading Series presents A Taste of China
Hosts Elaine Woo, Yilin Wang. Featured poets Laifong Leung, Synn Kune Loh. The World Poetry Woven Word Tapestry multilingual segments introduced by Tommy Tao and presented by Ariadne Sawyer (English), Anita Aguirre Nieveras (Tagalog), Jaz Gill (Punjabi), and Bong Ja Ahn (Korean).

11:30 am Elaine Woo
Cycling with the Dragon

2:15 pm andrea bennett

3:45 pm Renée Sarojini Saklikar
Children of Air India: un/authorized exhibits and interjections

Canada Writes

11:00 am Doretta Lau
How Does a Single Blade of Grass Thank the Sun?


See the Word Vancouver website for a full schedule of events.

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Elaine Woo Selected for World Poetry’s Empowered Poet Award!

Congratulations to North Vancouver-based poet Elaine Woo, who’s releasing her debut poetry collection with Nightwood Editions in September 2014. Elaine has been selected as one of the recipients of World Poetry’s Empowered Poet award! The awards, given to poets with a book or body of work who embody the World Poetry focus on multicultural empowerment, will be given out at Grand Opening of the Fourth World Poetry Canada International Peace Festival. This year’s opening will be held at Simon Fraser University’s Harbour Centre campus in Vancouver in mid-October 2014.

Elaine Woo is a poet, librettist, and non-fiction writer. Her work appears in Arc Poetry Magazine, Shy: An Anthology (recipient of a 2014 silver medal at the Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY), in the anthology category), V6A: Writing from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (a finalist for the City of Vancouver Award in 2012), The Enpipe Line, Ricepaper, and more. Her art song collaboration with Daniel Marshall, Night-time Symphony, won a Boston Metro Opera festival prize in 2013. For more information on Elaine, visit her website at

Her upcoming poetry collection, Cycling with the Dragon, is a personal investigation of family, love, culture and self. Woo’s poems champion the virtue of “smallness”—characters marginalized by society for their age or status (be they women, children, ethnic minorities) struggle to overcome the limitations imposed upon them. Like tenacious seeds breaking through to reach the sun, they ultimately find survival and inspiration in treasured authors and their words, the wilderness, and sometimes dreams and imagination.

World Poetry is a volunteer-based organization created by Ariadne Sawyer and Alejandro Mujica-Olea in 1997 in order to give recognition to multicultural and multilin­gual poets and writers, who have written in more than 100 languages spoken in Canada. It now encompasses the World Poetry Reading Series at the Vancouver Public Library; The World Poetry Café Radio Show, which airs every Tuesday from 9-10 pm on CFRO (PST); the World Poetry Canada International Peace Festival, which will run from October 6 to 26, 2014;  and more. For more information, go to

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Performance: Allegheny, BC

Allegheny, BCOn July 11, 2014, Vancouver singer/songwriter Rodney DeCroo will be performing his show, Allegheny, BC, for one night only in Vancouver. It is the final chapter in a trinity of works that began in 2012 with the release of DeCroo’s album, Allegheny, and his book of poetry, also entitled Allegheny, BC. This event, put on by Tonic Records, will take place at Renegade Studios (125 E. 2nd Ave., Vancouver) on Friday, July 11 at 7:30pm. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased by going to: There will also be an limited number at the door.
Rodney DeCroo  delivers raw footage of a childhood marred by violence, sudden uprootings, and abuse. Allegheny, BC is a candid, gritty tour through DeCroo’s troubled past in a small coal town outside of Pittsburgh, PA, the bush of northern BC, and his young adult years in Vancouver. Scenes of boys growing up along the banks of the filthy Allegheny River cut to hunting trips with an unpredictable father haunted by the Vietnam War to snapshots of seedy bars and strip clubs as the narrator struggles to come of age despite his circumstances.
DeCroo searches out available meaning and transcendence in fierce attentiveness to the often painful realities of life. Allegheny, BC is a reclamation project, an imaginative remembering through the savaged places of the human heart into beauty and acceptance. It is the river that flows through DeCroo’s life, at times lazily meandering, at times whitecapped and raging, but constantly working its way around moments that shaped a life and inevitably led to the man who stands before us.
For more information, go to

Directed by: Jane Heyman


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Renée Sarojini Saklikar wins the 2014 Canadian Authors Association Poetry Award

Nightwood Editions is pleased to announce Renée Sarojini Saklikar’s book children of air india: un/authorized exhibits and interjections won the 2014 Canadian Authors Association Award for Poetry, which recognizes the best full-length English-language book of poems for adults by a Canadian writer. The CAA Award for Poetry winner receives $2000 and a silver medal. In the long-held tradition of writers honouring writers, the Canadian Authors Association announced the winners of its 2014 Literary Awards at a gala reception in Orillia, Ontario on Saturday, June 21.

Renée Sarojini Saklikar was 23 years old when her aunt and uncle were murdered on June 23, 1985, in the bombing of Air India Flight 182. In her first book of poems, children of air india: un/authorized exhibits and interjections, Saklikar presents a powerful and deeply personal collection. These poems offer a fresh perspective on a heartbreaking chapter in Canada’s history—the bombing of Air India Flight 182, which killed all 329 passengers and crew, including 82 children under the age of 13.

Saklikar breaks new ground in her approach to the Canada/Air India saga. The collection is animated by a proposition: that personal and shared violence produces continuing sonar, an echolocation that finds us, even when we choose to be unaware or indifferent. These poignant poems invite us to help bear witness to an aviation disaster that continues to resonate around the world, decades after the original event.

Introduced in 1975, the Canadian Authors Association Literary Awards honour Canadian writers who achieve excellence without sacrificing popular appeal in the categories of fiction, Canadian history and the poetry. Joseph Boyden was awarded the CAA Fiction Award for The Orenda (Penguin Group Canada). Charlotte Gray was named the recipient of the Lela Common Award for Canadian History for The Massey Murder: A maid, her master, and the trial that shocked a country (HarperCollins Canada). Grace O’Connell won the Emerging Writer Award for a promising writer under 30; her achievements include the novel Magnified World (Knopf Canada). The CAA Award for Poetry shortlist also included Catherine Graham, for Her Red Hair Rises with the Wings of Insects (Wolsak and Wynn Publishers), and Tom Wayman, for Winter Skin (Oolichan Books).

For more information about the Canadian Authors Association Literary Awards, refer to their website at


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Doretta Lau longlisted for the 2014 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award

Congratulations to Doretta Lau, whose short story collection How Does A Single Blade of Grass Thank the Sun? has been longlisted for the 2014 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award!

This prestigious international award is the single biggest prize in the world for a collection of short stories. It is hoped the Award, for a complete collection of previously unpublished stories in a book collection, will play a significant role in establishing parity of esteem for the short story collection alongside the novel. €25,000 is awarded to the winning author of a collection of short stories published for the first time, in English anywhere in the world.

Other Canadian authors on the longlist include Lynn Coady, Cynthia Flood, Jack Thiessen, and Kathy Page.

Complete listing of longlisted authors available here.

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Alex Leslie on The Rusty Toque

Alex LeslieA sneak peak at some of the amazing work of new Nightwood Editions author, Alex Leslie, is now available on The Rusty Toque. Look out for her debut collection of poems, Things I heard about you, coming this Fall!

Shortlisted for the 2014 Robert Kroetsch award for innovative poetry, The things I heard about you is an exploration of precision and the unspoken, executing a process whereby vignettes and scenes break apart into fragments, rumours or suggestions of the original story. When stories decompose or self-destruct, the results vary, producing an effect of texture and syntactic transformation. This is a book of tidal memories and elegies, love songs to the coast and all its inhabitants.

Alex has published a chapbook of microfictions 20 Objects for the New World (Nomados, 2011) and a collection of short stories People Who Disappear (Freehand, 2012), which was shortlisted for a 2013 Lambda Award for debut fiction and 2013 ReLit Award for short fiction. Recent work includes editing the Queer issue of Poetry Is Dead magazine, which brought together different forms of Queer poetics from across Canada, and being part of the fiction editorial team at Lemon Hound. A second collection of stories entitled We All Have To Eat is in progress.

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Matt Rader Winner of The Malahat Review Jack Hodgins Founders’ Award for Fiction!

Congratulations to Nightwood author Matt Rader, whose short story, “All This Was a Long Time Ago” is the winner of The Malahat Review‘s 2014 Jack Hodgin’s Founder’s Award for Fiction! The story, which appeared in the Fall 2013 edition of The Malahat Review, will also be featured in Rader’s first short story collection, What I Want to Tell Goes Like This, which Nightwood is proud to announce that we’ll be publishing this fall.

The Jack Hodgins Founders’ Award was established in honour of the celebrated Victoria novelist’s contribution to Canadian letters and to the University of Victoria. It awards a prize of $1000 to the author of the best short story or novella to have appeared in The Malahat Review during the previous calendar year and is selected by an outside judge – this time, award-winning author Michael Crummey.

According to The Malahat Review, Crummey had this to say about the story: “My first read of Matt Rader’s ‘All This Was a Long Time Ago’ left me thinking, What the hell is this? It’s oddly paced and oddly balanced. The narrative comes across as much like an essay as a story. The present-day characters barely register on the surface. I had a hard time trying to say what it’s about exactly. Or why it affected me so deeply.

“It’s still a bit of a mystery to me, in fact. The writing is terrific, the portrayal of the young James Joyce and Nora Barnacle is completely convincing. The insights into love and desire, into the ways in which art and life intersect without ever becoming one and the same, are uncontrived and compelling. The tension between the ephemeral details of the individual life and the relative permanence of something like Joyce’s ‘The Dead’ makes the whole thing ring like a bell.

“But what the hell is it, exactly, and why does it work? Can’t say. It feels like real life. It feels like art. It’s a terrific story. My favourite of the fiction published in The Malahat Review last year.”

Matt Rader is the author of three books of poems: A Doctor Pedalled Her Bicycle over the River Arno (House of Anansi, 2011), Living Things (Nightwood Editions, 2008), and Miraculous Hours (Nightwood Editions, 2005), which was a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award and long-listed for the ReLit Award. His fiction, non-fiction, and poetry have appeared in The Walrus, Prism International, The Fiddlehead, The Journey Prize Anthology, as well as many other publications across North America. Rader’s poetry has also been nominated for numerous awards, including the Journey Prize, the National Magazine Award, and two Pushcart Prizes. He lives in Cumberland, BC.

Elizabeth Bachinsky a Finalist for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award

Nightwood Editions is pleased to announce that poet Elizabeth Bachinsky has just been named a finalist for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award for her most recent volume The Hottest Summer in Recorded History.

Presented annually by the League of Canadian Poets, the Pat Lowther Memorial Award carries a $1,000 prize and is given to a book of poetry by a Canadian woman published in the preceding year. This is Bachinsky’s second nomination for this prestigious award.  Her third collection, God of Missed Connections, was shortlisted in 2010.

With her signature eye for irony and sensuality, Bachinsky balances a youthful playfulness with observational maturity in The Hottest Summer in Recorded History. Combining the unexpected with the ordinary and the sacred with the profane, she shares an intimate view of her world, which is full of honesty and dark humour.

Elizabeth Bachinsky is also the author of Curio and I Don’t Feel so Good (both Book Thug) and Home of Sudden Service, which was nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Award for poetry in 2006. God of Missed Connections was also shortlisted for the Kobzar Literary Award and the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in BC Writing and Publishing.  Her work has appeared in literary journals, anthologies, and on film in Canada, the United States, France, Ireland, England, and China. She is an instructor of creative writing at Douglas College in New Westminster where she is Poetry Editor for Event magazine.

The other books shortlisted for the Pat Lowther are Alongside by Anne Compton (Fitzhenry & Whiteside), Leaving Howe Island by Sadiqa de Meijer (Oolichan Books), Whirr and Click by Micheline Maylor (Frontenac House Poetry), Meeting the Tormentors in Safeway by Alexandra Oliver (Biblioasis), and Status Update by Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang (Oolichan Books).

The winner of the Pat Lowther Memorial Award will be announced in Toronto on June 7, 2014.